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Monday, January 16, 2012

USC Men Dominate Sherwood Cup; USC Women Take Two Titles; Rossi Wins Coaches SEC Indoor Championship; Australian Open Junior Wild Cards

I usually need to go to several sites to track the individual tournaments that dot the college landscape this time of year, but tonight usctrojans.com was the place for one-stop shopping.

The three-time defending NCAA champion men dominated the Sherwood Cup, which featured players from Baylor, Stanford and UCLA, with five of the eight quarterfinalists and all four semifinalists wearing the cardinal and gold. Steve Johnson extended his collegiate win streak to 40 with five wins over the weekend, the toughest of which came against UCLA's Nick Meister in the quarterfinals. After beating Emilo Gomez in the semifinals, Johnson defeated Daniel Nguyen 6-2, 6-2 in the final, but Nguyen triumphed in the doubles final. He and Raymond Sarmiento, who had lost to Nguyen in the semifinals, beat Johnson and freshman Yannick Hanfmann 9-7.

Those looking for reasons to favor a team other than USC for the NCAA title in May didn't find anything to support their case this weekend.

The USC women have been absent from the NCAA Sweet 16 the past three years, but have hopes of ending that streak with a fine freshman class, which has already made waves nationally. Newcomer Sabrina Santamaria won the USTA/ITA Indoor Intercollegiate doubles championship with Kaitlyn Christian last fall and freshman Zoe Scandalis won the Freeman Invitational this week, beating eighth-ranked Robin Anderson of UCLA, the tournament's No. 2 seed in the semifinals, and top-ranked Mallory Burdette of Stanford, the No. 1 seed in the tournament in the final. According to the twitter reports, No. 5 seed Scandalis was down a set and two breaks before beating Burdette 6-7(8), 7-6(5), 6-3. USC's Danielle Lao won the La Quinta tournament, defeating top seed Emily Fraser of Virginia 7-6(5), 6-0.

For more, see the USC website.

At the Coaches SEC Indoor tournament, Kentucky's Anthony Rossi took the title on his home court, beating Georgia's Sadio Doumbia 6-4, 6-3 in the final. The Thiemann twins, Marcel and Chris, won the doubles title with a 8-3 decision over Georgia's Wil Spencer and Garrett Brasseaux, and they were hardly the only Ole Miss success story. Freshman William Kallberg beat Wil Spencer of Georgia to reach the quarterfinals, With freshman Nik Scholtz and junior Jonas Lutjen reaching the semifinals. For complete results, see the tournament page at the Kentucky website.

The wild cards for the Australian Open junior championships have been announced, with no big junior names requesting wild cards. I believe all the recipients of main draw wild cards are Australian. Sara Tomic, Bernard's 13-year-old sister, received one, as did Naiktha Bains, who just turned 14 last month. The complete list is here (pdf).